New home purchase apps up, pace slower than a year ago

by Steve Randall14 Mar 2018

"Mortgage applications for new homes continued to grow in February on a year over year basis, although at a slower pace of just under 5 percent, as brisk activity in January likely pulled forward some buyer activity," said Lynn Fisher, MBA Vice President of Research and Economics.

For the first two months of 2018 combined, mortgage applications for new home purchase were up 11% compared to the same period of 2017.

“On a seasonally adjusted annual basis, our February estimate of new home sales based on mortgage applications came in at 632,000, ahead of the January Census estimate of 593,000 new homes sales, and back on trend following an uptick from hurricane-related rebuilding," added Fisher.

Conventional loans accounted for 70.8% of loan applications, FHAs 15.7%, RHS/USDAs 1.1% and VAs 12.4%. The average loan size for new homes decreased from $338,918 in January to $338,078 in February.

MBA estimates that new single-family home sales were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 632,000 units in February 2018, based on data from the BAS.

The seasonally adjusted estimate for February is a decrease of 9.7% from the January pace of 700,000 units. On an unadjusted basis, the MBA estimates that there were 55,000 new home sales in February, an increase of 1.9% compared to January.

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